‘It was complicated’ Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus aims brutal jab at one teammate for Premier League failure

The Brazilian was quizzed on just what happened, and had his answer ready

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has pinpointed the moment his side threw away the Premier League title last season, and pinned the fault largely in one place ahead of the new season.

For much of the season, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side topped the Premier League, but a late-season collapse saw them finish second to Manchester City, who Jesus left to move to the Emirates Stadium 12 months ago.

A run of three wins in the final nine games of the season included a defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side, as well as losses to Brighton and Nottingham Forest, while they also dropped points against Liverpool, West Ham and relegated Southampton.

Looking back on the season, Jesus explained that it was William Saliba’s injury that proved the moment their title charge fell apart, before aiming a jab at his replacement.

The impressive French defender picked up a back injury in the Europa League defeat to Sporting CP, the same game that also proved the final outing of the season for backup Takehiro Tomiyasu thanks to a knee injury.

Responsibility thus fell to Rob Holding, and he became a key point of contention within the fanbase as results began to stutter.

Speaking to Brazilian TV, Jesus appeared to agree with that sentiment, without directly criticizing his teammate.

“When he [Saliba] plays, we concede few goals, when he doesn’t play, the number (goals conceded) increases”, he began.

“When I got injured, Eddie replaced me very well. Then we signed Leo (Trossard). We kept the pace. But when Saliba got injured, it was complicated. The other defenders are good, but we were playing in a certain way. Look at the stats we concede a lot less with him”

Of course, Jesus is unlikely to directly call out his teammate, but reading between the lines it is clear that he felt the drop-off was massive between the Frenchman and Holding.

Arteta was clearly in agreement, and has since agreed a £40m deal to sign right-sided defender Jurrien Timber in a bid to avoid history repeating itself next season.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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